Yankees' Stephen Drew starts to emerge from slump
, 2B, NYY
Yankees infielder Stephen Drew
went three for three on Friday, which is a significant bright spot in what's been a tough spring.
Prior to Friday's game, Drew only had six hits all spring. The 3-for-3 game boosted his average from .167 to .231.
"He's swung the bat better the last two weeks," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, per MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "The one thing you want is you want a lineup that there's pressure on the pitcher of the opposing team the entire time, and I feel that we have that type of lineup that we can do that, where so much pressure doesn't fall on a couple of guys."
Report: Delino DeShields closing in on breaking camp with Rangers
, 2B, TEX
Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields
, a Rule 5 draft choice, is nearing a spot on the Opening Day roster
, according to the Dallas Morning News
. Manager Jeff Banister wouldn't confirm DeShields would break camp with the club, but did reveal that he envisions him as a late-inning speed weapon.
"He has a skill set that can help you win games," Banister said. "If he makes this club and stays with this club, he adds value in winning situations.
"Given the construction of the core guys on our roster, he's unique" Banister said. "I'd hate for us to have a double late in the game and not be able to score from first on the play. I think he has the potential to be a contributor, but there is a ways to go to finalize the roster."
DeShields would be sent back to the Astros if he is not on the Rangers' opening day roster.
A's Zobrist to start in RF, Sogard at 2B with Reddick sidelined
, 2B, OAK
With Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick
likely to miss the start of the season due to an oblique injury, manager Bob Melvin said Friday that Ben Zobrist
would start in right field
and Eric Sogard
would start at second base.
Melvin added, however, Reddick might be ready to play during the team's season-opening, seven-game homestand from April 6-12.
Orioles' Jonathan Schoop returns to lineup after dental work
, 2B, BAL
As expected, Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop
(dental) returned to the starting lineup
for Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Rays, according to the Baltimore Sun
. Schoop missed Thursday's game after he had one wisdom tooth removed and another tooth in front of it on Wednesday. He is hitting .243 (9 for 37) this spring.
Francona on Jason Kipnis' return: 'That'll really be a big boost for us'
, 2B, CLE
Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters he was impressed
with second baseman Jason Kipnis
' performance in his first Cactus League game since March 17, per MLB.com. Kipnis, who returned from back spasms, played five innings and finished 1 for 3 in a 13-2 defeat to Cincinnati.
"Well, he played yesterday (in the minors). He looks good," Francona said. "He's looked good swinging a bat. His ability, when he's healthy, he can impact a game so many ways. You saw he's athletic at second, he can steal a base, swing the bat. We're excited to watch him play healthy. That'll really be a big boost for us."
Gibbons: Saunders, Izturis to open season on disabled list
, 2B, TOR
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Thursday outfielder Michael Saunders
(knee) and infielder Maicer Izturis
(groin) will open the 2015 season on the disabled list
, per Sportsnet.ca.
Saunders is expected to start in left field when healthy, while Izturis will likely be a backup infielder.
Mariners experimenting with Rickie Weeks in leadoff spot
, 2B, SEA
Mariners outfielder Rickie Weeks
is leading off for the team Wednesday, with regular leadoff man Austin Jackson
sliding to the No. 2 spot, and manager Lloyd McClendon could use Weeks atop the lineup
at times this season, MLB.com reports.
"I like Rickie as a leadoff hitter, too," McClendon said Wednesday. "Austin led off yesterday, Rickie is leading off today. I’m just playing with things. That’s all."
McClendon indicated that both players have different strengths that could be a fit atop the lineup.
"Every player is different. They all have their strengths and weaknesses," McClendon said. "Rickie has close to 3,000 at-bats in the leadoff spot and 100 home runs. There’s a lot to like about him there. Austin is a speed guy that hits a lot of triples and doubles. They both bring a lot to the table."
Weeks is expected to split time in left field with Dustin Ackley this season.
Devon Travis expected to win starting second base job for Blue Jays
, 2B, TOR
While the Blue Jays have yet to make an announcement, Devon Travis will win the starting job at second base over Ryan Goins
and Steve Tolleson
, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.
Travis, who was acquired in a November trade with Detroit, is doing well offensively this spring. He is batting .400 (16 for 40) with six doubles, six RBI, three walks, four runs and five strikeouts in 16 spring games.
He is considered Toronto's fifth-best prospect by Baseball America. Travis has a career .323/.388/.487/.876 slash line over three seasons in the minors.
Leury Garcia among seven players cut by White Sox
, 2B, CHW
The White Sox announced seven cuts
on Tuesday, per ESPN. The club optioned Leury Garcia
, Onelki Garcia
and Andy Wilkins
to Triple-A Charlotte. Frankie Montas
was optioned to Double-A Birmingham, and Logan Kensing
, Nolan Sanburn
and Joe Savery
were reassigned to minor-league camp.
Twins lock up Brian Dozier to a four-year $20 million extension
, 2B, MIN
The Twins have signed
second baseman Brian Dozier
to a four-year contract, buying his arbitration years, the team announced on Tuesday. According to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, he will make $20 million over four years
. Dozier will receive $15 million in the final two years
of his deal, which includes no options, per MLB.com.
"This is a good day for the Twins and a good day for Brian," general manager Terry Ryan, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "We like to reward players that have come through our system. We anticipate he's in the prime of his career, and suspect it's going to spike, some of numbers he has put up."
Dozier, an eighth round pick out of Southern Mississippi in 2009, is set to open the season at second base after hitting .242/.345/.416 with a team-high 23 home runs, 33 doubles, 71 RBI, 89 walks and 21 stolen bases in 598 at-bats last season. The 27-year-old has a career .241 batting average and 47 home runs over three MLB seasons.